How Much Do Ferrets Cost to Keep?

Q: How much do ferrets cost? How much does their food, toys, vet care cost etc.?

A: It will cost anywhere from $100 to $150 For the ferret alone, (that’s the price in my area – central PA). Or at the local rescue they can be anywhere from $25 and up depending on location.

A good cage will run about $200 or more, then you’ll also need food and water bowls, litter box, litter, food, bedding (and by bedding I mean hammocks, blankets, etc. – not wood shavings), and toys. They should also be checked by a vet (for a general exam to make sure they are healthy, plus they should get rabies vacc and a series of three distemper vaccs – prices will vary from vet to vet, but you’re looking at probably $100-$200 for all of that).

Below are the approximate costs of owning a ferret:

  • Hammocks: You can make these if you can sew, otherwise you can pick up hammocks anywhere from $10-$15. For bedding in the cage you can use old t-shirts ferrets love to snuggle in them. Cost: free
  • Cage: Cages range in size and price. It is recommended to get a large enough cage for room to grow. We always recommend getting a sturdy, well made cage. Cages can range from $45-$200 and up. If you decide on buying and using a cage that has wire flooring be prepared to buy linoleum. That will range from $7-$25 depending on type of linoleum and size of cage.
  • Litter boxes: One of the great things about owning a ferret is they can be taught to use a litter box. We recommend that you don’t pick up the triangular one because they are too small for the ferret to get all the way in it. Litter boxes are $5-$10; you will need one for the cage for one ferret and one in all the corners in your ferret-proofed designated room.
  • Litter: You can get a big bag of yesterday’s news for $11-$12. Please do not use a clay based scoop able litter; it is very bad for ferrets due to the natural behavior of digging and can get in their lungs. Another good choice for litter is wood stove pellets. A 40lb bag is $5 – $6 and lasts a long time. I find, at least with mine, it controls their odor better than other litters I’ve used (never used yesterday’s news though). In my area, Innova cat is less expensive than Innova ferret and they’re the same thing. However, I too order through petfoodirect & the difference there is only about $1 so I get the ferret version. Also, winter flannel hats for a buck at the dollar store make great hammocks (children’s size). No sewing required. I just stick the clips right through the edges of the hat. I also have been blessed with little fuzzbuts so it may be too small for the bigger guys out there.
  • Food and Water Bowls: I recommend getting the croc type bowls that attach to the cage. Ferrets love to move things and play in them. These can range from $7-$10 each.
  • Toys: It’s not a must initially, but an entertained ferret is a well behaved one. Ferrets need enrichment. There is money saving ways to enrich your ferret, but initially I would pick up some toys to get started. $5-$15
  • Food: A good quality cat food is a must. It is recommended to combine multiple types of high protein cat food or high protein ferret food together. The high quality ferret food such as wysong is pretty expensive. I think a large bag is about $65. The high protein cat food for a large bag is about $20-$30.
  • Cleaning supplies: I recommend getting a bottle of natures miracle. $8-$35 I use the Natures Miracle laundry detergent as well to do my weekly cleaning of the bedding in the cage. I recommend natures miracle because it doesn’t cover the accidents it removes it.
  • Ferret Care Supplies: Nail clippers $5-$10, Laxatone Hairball remedy $4-$6, Ferratone $7-8, Shampoo $4-$7, Ear Solution $4-$6, Teeth cleaner $5-$7, Septic Powder for accidental short nail clippings $6-$9
  • Treats: You don’t have to give treats but if you wish to you can pick up some treats from $3 and up.
  • Duck Soup: It is recommended that your ferret should be on duck soup just in case they get sick. Duck soup ingredients can be anywhere from $2-$10.
  • Vet Costs: Your first initial vet visit will cost you around $65-$120 and up. If you buy a kit they need to get their rabies and distemper shot as well as getting a check-up.
  • Crate: A crate is a good way to transfer your ferret to the vet. You can get a nice cat crate from $15 and up.
  • Harness: Harnesses are a great way to allow your ferret to go outside. A harness can be purchased for $11-15
  • For emergencies: I would have anywhere from $500-$1000 per a ferret. Ferrets are considered exotics and vet costs seem to be higher.

A great book that was recommended to me I want to recommend to anyone who is wanting or has a ferret. Check out “Ferrets for Dummies” By Kim Schilling. You can pick it up used cheaper then new. New it is about $20.

Are Ferrets Cheap Pets to Own?

My first real meeting with ferrets as a adult lead me down the wrong belief involving ferret cost and care. My step-sister got 2 ferrets for her birthday (this was 8 years ago) I fell in love with the little guys right off the bat!

I asked her how much they ran, care needs and everything. She informed me ferrets were cheap pets. All they needed was a cage (she got a small rat cage for hers, they only where let out of the cage on weekends) They ate walmart brand cat food, didn’t worry over vets, they only things she got extra was harness and cat toy balls.

I wanted one and my husband said no way due to the fact that my step-sisters ferrets stank (I mean they smelled horrid) and they pooped liquid poop on everything. Her ferrets died within a year.

For the last 8 years I have been researching ferrets and their care more so the last 2 months. After 2 months of talking it over with my husband he agreed we could have a ferret. So far, we have spent $175.00 on the cage and a carrier for them we plan another $400.00 to $500.00 to be spent on items they will need or want BEFORE we even bring the ferrets home (thats right I will be out 675.00 before I even spend cash on getting my ferrets)

I also saved up 250.00 for first vet bills alone for when they get here.

I can say this – proper care of ferrets is not cheap at all!

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